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What Is Endovenous Laser Ablation Treatment? How Does It Help Varicose Veins?

What Is Endovenous Laser Ablation Treatment? How Does It Help Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are common, affecting slightly more than one-third of Americans, according to the Society for Vascular Surgery. Varicose veins, also known as varicosities, occur when your veins become enlarged, twisted, dilated, and overfilled with blood. These veins aren’t just unattractive — they can also be a sign of a more serious circulation problem, and often, they’re accompanied by a fair number of uncomfortable symptoms.

Treatment involves compression stockings, exercise, or procedures to close or remove the veins.

At Cardiovascular Institute of AmericaMuthu Velusamy, MD, FACC, ABVM, recommends endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) for patients in Lutz and Tampa, Florida, who have large or symptomatic varicose veins. If you’re bothered by varicose veins, here’s how EVLA could help.

Varicose veins 101

Your veins contain a series of tiny valves. These valves open and close to keep your blood moving back toward your heart. Varicose veins happen when one or more of these valves malfunction and blood pools rather than moving forward. 

The increase in pressure causes vein discoloration, along with bulging and swelling.

Varicose veins can happen to anyone, but they’re more common among people who:

They’re also significantly more common among women.

In addition to their unattractive appearance, varicose veins can cause other symptoms in your legs, including:

Painful symptoms are often worse after a long period of sitting or standing or after strenuous activity.

How EVLA relieves varicose veins

Endovenous literally means “inside the vein,” and EVLA uses an approach that treats the damaged vein from within. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and typically takes less than an hour. 

Before your EVLA treatment, Dr. Velusamy uses a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. After making a tiny incision over your vein, he gently inserts a long, thin, flexible tube called a catheter, guiding it through the vein to the far side of the treatment area.

Once the catheter is in position, Dr. Velusamy slowly withdraws it while the catheter tip emits a steady “stream” of laser energy. The energy heats up the vein walls, causing the vein to collapse. 

After he extracts the entire catheter, he closes the incision with a small bandage — no stitches are needed.

After your treatment

Right after your treatment, you’ll probably be encouraged to walk around to stimulate circulation. You’re discharged soon after your treatment. Over the next few days, the vein seals shut, preventing blood flow. Instead, blood finds new routes to neighboring veins, and the damaged vein is absorbed into your body’s waste stream.

You can expect a little minor discomfort and some bruising in the treatment area. Dr. Velusamy provides you with complete directions for caring for the incision site, as well as guidance on how much activity you need to stimulate healing without stressing your leg.

Make vein health a priority

After EVLA, you need to avoid strenuous activities for a couple of weeks, but walking and many other activities are encouraged. In fact, lesser recovery time when compared with other treatments is one reason why EVLA is popular among patients and doctors alike.

To learn more about EVLA and how it can help improve your vascular health, book an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Velusamy today.

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